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Weedflower After the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Sumiko and her family are forced to abandon their thriving flower business, and are sent to live in an internment camp on an Indian reservation in the Southwest.  In the dry desert sand, Sumiko feels lost.  It is only when she plants a garden and makes a friend that hope for the future grows again.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

09th January 2008

Kira-KiraKatie and her family are 4 of only a handful of Japanese people living in their tiny Georgian town. Her parents work long hours at the poultry factory, saving up to buy their own house. Katie doesn’t really mind, because she’s usually busy spending time with her best friend–her big sister Lynn. Lynn is a genius, and makes everything beautiful. But when Lynn becomes ill, Katie must learn to stand on her own, and bring her family back together again.

I listened to this book on CD. It drew me in right away, and kept my interest all the way through. Katie is a fantastic character. Although the subject of the book is somewhat serious, Kadohata frequently uses humorous understatements and sarcasm (in the style of children’s author, Mercer Meyer) to lighten the tension. I’m looking forward to reading more by Kadohata.